Taylor Wessing Training Contracts & Interview Questions

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Law Training Contract: Application Dates and Information

The only way of getting a place on a Taylor Wessing Training Contract is through applying to, and impressing, during their Vacation Scheme. This two week scheme sees you sit in two different practice areas, ‘fully immersed in life as a Taylor Wessing trainee.’ You will have socials, assessed tasks and networking opportunities. To be eligible for the Summer Vacation Scheme, you need to be in the penultimate, final year or beyond of your law degree, or final year or beyond in your non-law degree. Applications for the Summer Vacation Scheme open at the start of October, and will finish around the beginning of January.

Firm Overview

Taylor Wessing is a large, international law firm. It has 28 offices spread across the globe, with more than 300 partners and over 1000 lawyers in its employ. It was formed through the merger of a British law firm – Taylor Joynson Garrett – and a German law firm called Wssing & Berenberg-Gossler. It has a decentralised headquarters system. Its major practice areas are highlighted as being technology, life sciences, energy, and private wealth, although it is a full-service firm. It generates around 300 million euros in revenue per year. It was founded in 2002. 

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Law Training Contract: Firm Specialisms & Training Contract Seats

The firm emphasises that small cohort sizes allow for ‘optimum networking and collaboration’ through its different practice groups. This allows employees to feel fully supported whilst they train, and reduces the risk of them feeling lost as part of a wide pool of trainees in a more faceless system. You will take on four six-month seats over the course of the two year training contract, in different practice groups. You must take on a seat in either corporate or finance, and one seat (at least) must involve contentious work.

Past Interview Format & Questions

The assessment centre follows the online assessments. It typically takes place in February and March in any given year. The Taylor Wessing assessment centre is designed to be ‘flexible and welcoming’ and to test your ability and suitability in a friendly environment. You will take on a group exercise, a commercial awareness exercise, and a competency-based interview. 

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The Group Exercise

Previous students report that some will start with this first, while others will start with the interview first. The group interview as described variously as:
– An exercise in which they were a group of six people and watched throughout by a panel of assessors. The exercise involved a company who had a particular amount of money and a particular amount of resources, and had to then decide how to split that money and those resources up. Each person in the group was given a role in the company and each person had some information that the others did not. All the information was relevant. The discussion required a consensus on what to do; this was then presented to the panel as the plan, and the panel asked some questions.
– Another applicant explains that the group interview was looking for your ‘personal style’ and how you are able to discuss topics with others. They felt that there was limited time, and that the discussion was clearly designed to be results-driven.
– Another applicant had a group case study exercise and presentation combined which took one hour. Unlike other applicants, they mention that there was a crisis introduced halfway through the discussion, which they had to deal with as a group.

The Interview

The interview at Taylor Wessing seems to combine a mixture of competency questions, personal questions, and commercial questions. Examples of previous questions include:

– Why Taylor Wessing?
– Why Law?
– Why are you suitable for Taylor Wessing?
– What are your interests?
– How do you deal with a difficult team member?
– As a global top 20 law firm, we act for the biggest names in cutting edge industries. No matter your background, you’ll find that our trainees – like our lawyers – are united by their focus, their commitment and their spark. What is the biggest challenge you will need to overcome upon entering the profession?
– Why commercial law in particular?
– What other firms have you applied to?
– What is your biggest weakness?
– Talk about your extra-curricular activities at school and explain how they would contribute to a campus ambassador’s work.
– What makes us different from other firms?
– What do you know about how a business is run?
– What business news can you highlight from the last few weeks, and how does that relate to Taylor Wessing?

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